How to Clean Hard-to-Reach Places

A picture of a window sill. Tracks in a window are often hard-to-reach places to clean.

Start cleaning hard-to-reach places in your home.

Tight and hard-to-reach places in our homes are often the most neglected. Over time, they end up collecting dirt, grime, and all kinds of gunk. It may seem impossible to clean these areas of your home but don’t give up. Ignoring the small spaces will only make them dirtier. We have a few tips to help you address the places that you never thought you would be able to reach.

In Between Your Keyboard

Most people with a desktop computer can tell you how often their keyboard collects dust. The longer you let dust build up between the keys, the more likely your keyboard will malfunction. Electronics are typically hard to clean because unlike furniture and other household items, you can’t just spray it with Windex and wipe it down. There are several ways to clean your keyboards without damaging it.

The first thing you need to do is turn your keyboard off before cleaning. Next, pick your keyboard up, turn it upside and give it a few light taps to remove any loose dust or crumbs. After taking these steps, you can clean you clean your keyboard one of two ways. The first is by running the sticky side of a post-it note in-between the keys, which will grab any debris stuck inside. The second and better method of cleaning your keyboard is by using a can of compressed air. Blowing compressed air into your keyboard is the safest way to get the dirt out of it.

Window Tracks

The wind tends to blow all kinds of dirt into our home when the window is open. Some of it gets into the tracks of our window. Don’t believe us? Open your windows and look at the tracks. You’ll notice a treasure trove of crumbs, dirt, and even worse, dead insects. A simple way to get rid of this is with the crevice tool on your vacuum. You can even make this device more efficient by placing a toilet paper roll over the end to get into smaller spaces of your window tracks. You can easily squish the toilet paper roll to fit into any crevice.

Air Vents

One thing you should not neglect is the air vents in your house. Remember, they are your primary source of ventilation, and you don’t want to breathe in dirty air. Once again, your vacuum’s crevice tool will help you remove unwanted and loose dust. To grab the dust that your vacuum can’t reach, wrap a microfiber cloth around a butter knife. Slide the knife in between the slots of your air vents. You’ll quickly see that it removes the hard-to-reach dust inside you vent.

Hire Professionals to Clean Hard-to-Reach Places

Cleaning the hard-to-reach places in your home is a difficult task. If you need a little extra help taking care of the house cleaning, contact S&G Cleaning. Our deep cleaning services are handled by our highly-trained staff, who are devoted to attention and detail. We will leave every inch of your house spotless. Have the clean home you have always dreamed of.

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Pet Owners Guide to Cleaning The House

A dog and one of his pet owners hugging each other on the couch.

Pet owners, it’s time to take notes.

Pets are magnificent creatures. They are easy to love and reciprocate all the care and affection you show them. It’s rather unfortunate that they are such messy rascals. Between all of the pet hair and their dirty paws, they can have your house looking like a junkyard in no time. It is important for pet owners to know how to clean after their lovable little friend. We can show you a few tips to clean after your pet and prevent your home from becoming a disaster.

Prevention Tips for Pet Owners

The easiest way to keep a clean home when living with a pet is to prevent them from making too much of a mess in the first place. What prevention really means is cleaning up smaller messes rather a huge one. Here are the best ways to help you stop the problem before it gets worse.

  • Grooming – Whether they are cats or dogs, most pets shed a significant amount of hair. Once it gets everywhere, it can be a bit of a chore to clean up. The best way to avoid too much hair on the floors and carpets is to groom your pet regularly.
  • Pet-Safe Furniture – Your pets are going to be with you for a very long time. As such, this will affect the way you live your life. To make things easier on yourself, consider buying furniture with synthetic fibers (microfiber/Ultrasuede) or semi-aniline leathers. These are simple to clean and don’t attract much hair.
  • Preventing Scratches – Long nails can do damage to your home. When pets want something, they will often scratch certain places to get your attention. The best way of dealing with this is by clipping their nails often. Another way to rectify this situation is to train them to signal you in another way.

Cleaning After Your Pet

When the prevention methods aren’t enough, it is time to do the hard job. We are going to go through several tips for cleaning up after your pet. Keep in mind that you should do the following frequently to avoid the buildup of pet hair and dirt.

  • Vacuum – Using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter every few days will prevent your floors from having tumbleweeds made of pet hair. This works better on carpets and if the vacuum has an upholstery tool, use it to clean the hair on furniture.
  • Lint Roller – Pet hair often flies into the air and is attracted to fabric. This means that it can get on more than just your furniture. Your clothes are at risk as well. A lint roller is a perfect tool to grab hair off of clothing and any extra that you find on your couch.
  • Make Quick Work of Stains – While we hope your pet isn’t peeing on carpets or furniture. However, every once and a while they may go through “Marking their Territory” phase. When they do have accidents, take care of it fast. Using a cloth try to absorb as much of the pee as you can from the affected area. Next, apply a mix of dishwashing liquid and water, then use a damp towel to clean the area. Keep cleaning the area until the stain is gone.

If you stay on top of the cleaning in your home, you and your pet can live a happy life. Also, if you need a day off from the cleaning, call us at S&G Cleaning. We are the professionally trained cleaning service that can get the job done for pet owners.

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Cleaning Unexpected Places in Your Home

A woman is about to start cleaning as she turns on the faucet.

Are certain areas of the house left out of your cleaning routine?

Most of our weekly cleaning routines include taking care of the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom. Seems like everything is in order, right? Well, you would be surprised by what areas are often forgotten when it is time to clean. Find out which unexpected places you should never forget to tidy up.

Cleaning the Sink

The sink is the one that usually does the cleaning for you. It might be why we don’t think too much about wiping it down. You should know that it is important to clean the sink every once and awhile. Bacteria can build up from leftover plates and food. In fact, some studies suggest that the toilet is cleaner than the kitchen sink. Gross! Clean with a bleach and water solution once a day to prevent the transfer of germs and illness.

Wiping Down Doorknobs

Our hands touch everything. It is the most common reason germs transfer so quickly from one place to another. As we move from one room to the other, we are constantly turning doorknobs to open doors. The germs we carry from outside end up on our door and doorknobs. Remember to not only wash your hands often but use disinfectant to wipe down any doorknobs and handles.

Pet Items

Some pets are messy and hairy. Most often, their mouths touch everything that they own, which means that their bowls and toys are covered in saliva and dirt. Just like your own stuff, you have thoroughly wash everything that your pet owns. Throw toys, blankets, bowls and other pet items into the washing machine at least once a week. This will take care of any bacteria or bugs that they attract.

Hiring a Cleaning Service

At S&G Cleaning Services, we handle all of these needs. We focus on cleaning every nook and cranny in your home. If you need professional cleaning service to get the job done, contact us and schedule and appointment today.

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Spring Cleaning Tips That Help Save Time

An illustration of a vacuum cleaner. One of the most used items for spring cleaning.

How do you prepare for spring cleaning?

Spring cleaning is right around the corner. For some, that’s very exciting news. But for many people out there, it can be a daunting task. That is to be expected, though. When so much has to get done, it can get very overwhelming.

But similar to a hard workout, spring cleaning feels very rewarding after its completion. The rooms are squeaky clean, and the air smells fresher. In order to make it a little easier, we put together a list of tips. Hopefully, the task at hand is made simpler with them.

Spring Cleaning Tips

  • Organization is Key – Putting together a list will make the process feel more manageable. Highlight the biggest problem areas and put them at the top. Depending on how specific you want to get, you can even write down estimates for how long each job will take. Having a plan for each room will make the process a whole lot easier.
  • Declutter – Studies have shown that too much clutter causes stress. So, getting rid of any unnecessary items is basically meditation. Too much clutter will only make the cleaning process harder. If you have a bin of clothes that you don’t wear anymore, get rid of it. Everything will go a lot smoother without all that clutter around.
  • Obey the Top to Bottom Rule – For each room, you should start cleaning at the top and then work your way down. This means dusting cabinets should go before vacuuming the floor. Because if you vacuum first, the dust from the cabinets will go onto the carpet. Then you’ll have to vacuum all over again.
  • Make Your Cleaning Tools Portable – Instead of trying to clutch every cleaning supply you own with your bare hands, find a container that’s easy to hold. You can get a caddy just about anywhere. And if you want something more heavy-duty, then consider investing in a rolling cart.

Spring cleaning does not have to be difficult. Just take it one room at a time and you’ll be fine. Having the right mindset and strategy helps make the process a whole lot easier.

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Natural, More Affordable Ways to Shine Your Hardwood Floors

A picture of a living room with hardwood floors.

How do you shine up your hardwood floors?

Who doesn’t love newly shined hardwood floors? Well, aside from your dog when it’s trying to run somewhere. They’re sturdy. They’re easy to clean. And when cleaned properly, hardwood floors have a refined look to them that’s unmatched. They’re understated and can look great in a lot of different settings.

For many, however, getting that desired shine isn’t so easy. Depending on the room’s size, polishing hardwood floors can cost up to $900. And many people don’t like the chemicals used in a lot of the different floor cleaners available.

Obstacles like these are why people don’t shine their hardwood floors as often as they should. It doesn’t have to be such a challenge, though. Many homespun remedies are out there. And they have been known to work.

If you’re trying to find a cost-efficient, hassle free way to shine your floors, then look no further. Here are a few alternatives to help avoid the big price tag and chemicals from regular cleaners.

Alternatives for Shining Hardwood Floors

  • Lemon – This citrus is recommended in a lot of different ways. Lemon juice, lemon oil, lemon polish, lemon everything! Each one works well but in different ways. There’s a slipping hazard with lemon in general, so it’s important to mix properly. A thorough mopping is recommended before, too.
  • Vinegar – Mixing vinegar with water has been an effective floor cleaner for many people. Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties to it. This makes it harder for any harmful chemicals to accumulate on the floor’s surface.
  • Tea – All you have to do is boil a few bags of tea, let it cool, and then it’s ready to use. Because it’s high in acid, tea is able to get the dirt out of hard to reach areas. Also, it doesn’t have the potential to strip the floor’s finish if not diluted enough.

These everyday items have been known to work wonders on hardwood floors. Try them out if you are looking to clean your floors with less harmful chemicals in them.

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Your Oven Racks Also Need Cleaning

A close up of an oven with multiple oven racks and a roast turkey inside.

Are your oven racks clean or are they starting to collect dirt?

Last month, we walked you through how to clean the inside of your oven. And while we are sure it may have been a bit tedious, your oven should be sparkling on the inside. Now it’s time to move on to those oven racks. They might be a bit grimy and will need to be cleaned as well.

How to Clean Your Oven Racks

Just like the interior of your oven, cleaning the oven racks takes a little bit of time. Four hours to be exact. However, you can clean the oven racks at the same time you are preparing the oven to be wiped down. Doing this will make your life so much easier.

Here is what you are going to need:

Your first step is to line the bottom of your tub with old towels. This will prevent the oven racks from scraping or scratching the surface of your tub.

Next, you are going to place the racks in the tub, adding hot water and dishwasher detergent. Mix the detergent into the water and let the racks soak in the water for a couple of hours. Just like we have mentioned before, they should sit in the tub for about four hours – overnight if you want to clean both the oven racks and the tub at the same time.

Once the water and soap have had enough time to work its magic, you can start to scrub all of the grime off. Using a sponge, wipe down the racks. Make sure you get as much dirt and grime as possible. The one thing left to do is rinse them off and dry with a couple of leftover towels.

Did you find our walkthrough to be helpful? Then visit us next month, and we will show you how to clean your stove top.

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Cleaning Your Oven to Make It Look Brand New

A close-up of a woman cleaning the oven in the kitchen the way you should be cleaning your oven.

Cleaning your oven takes a few simple steps.

Do you know what is worse than deciding what you are going to eat tonight? Making sure not cooking your food in hot dirt. That means cleaning your oven. And while the thought might send shivers down your spine, we assure you that there is a way to keep your oven in cooking order.

How the Oven Gets Dirty

Unfortunately, the oven is not something that most people remember to clean. They cook and forget that it needs to be wiped down on occasion. However, you are not going to make the same mistake because we can show you to make it shiny again. All it takes it the right tools and some elbow grease.

If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, then you may notice some black build up. This is from all of the little crumbs and juices that fall onto the oven when you are cooking. While you might reach for the closest bottle of harsh chemicals, we don’t want you getting sick. Instead, using baking soda and vinegar will work just fine.

Cleaning Your Oven

First, remove the oven racks and anything else inside of your oven. This will give you more room to clean. Mix a ½ cup of baking soda together with a few teaspoons of water in a bowl. This should make a paste that you are going to rub all over on the inside of the oven using rubber gloves. Avoid spreading the paste on any heating elements, it might cause problems.

The next step takes some patience. You need to let the paste sit overnight. After it has had a good amount of time to set in, wipe it off with a damp dish cloth. If you need to, use a spatula to scrape the paste off.

The last step requires putting vinegar in a spray bottle, coating the inside of the oven, and giving your oven one final wipe down. When you spray the inside, you will see the vinegar cause any leftover baking soda to foam up. If the baking soda residue is all gone, then done with the inside of your oven.

Join us next month and we’ll help you with a way to clean those oven racks as well.

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Cleaning Painted Walls for a Brighter Home

A modern living room, with white walls. Cleaning painted walls like this can be tough.

Cleaning painted walls can be tricky, but we know how to help.

Between the kids making your walls their personal canvas and the mystery scuff marks making an appearance every week, your home can’t seem to catch a break. The good news is that we have a solution. It is time to learn the proper techniques for cleaning painted walls and how to make your home look brand new.

Step #1: Prep Your Home

Remove paintings, mirrors, and other decorations from your walls. You should not clean around them. This will only lead to damaged items that can potentially be damaged by water. Another thing to remember is to prep your floors. Putting down a drop cloth will prevent your floors from getting wet and you from slipping.

Step #2: Dust Your Walls

Believe it or not, walls get dusty too. You are going to want to dust them off before washing them.  Here’s how you can do it. First, wrap a towel around the head of your broom. With this, you can wipe the walls from the top down. If you have a vacuum with a brush attachment, we suggest you use this clean up those nasty baseboards.

Step #3: Cleaning Painted Walls With the Right Materials

When it comes down to washing those smudges and crayon marks, you are going to want to use either a lint-free washcloth or undyed sponge. With these materials, you can prevent marking your walls with any more stains.

Rinse your cloth or sponge with clean, warm water and remember to wring it out. You don’t want to get your walls too wet, just enough to erase those marks or stains. You are going to start wiping down the walls with your cloth or sponge. If this doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, then add some dish detergent or homemade solution clean your walls. A popular solution includes mixing together dish detergent, white vinegar, and baking soda.

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How to Clean and Leave Fewer Allergens

A woman scrubbing a tub in order to prevent allergens like mold from growing.

Cleaning regularly will make your life easier and leave fewer allergens in your home.

Allergies can make some of the nicest times of year the most miserable. Is there anything you can do around the home to help your family endure? Let’s look at the full range of allergens, from those caused by pesty insects to skin irritants in the laundry.

Remove Anything That Could Attract Cockroaches

Believe it or not, one of the most common environmental allergies is to a pheromone that cockroaches release to attract one another within their communities. If you see a cockroach, especially during the day, it is important to take action immediately. Cockroaches usually feed at night, so if one is wandering your house searching for food or water during the day, it usually means an overcrowded community that is short on food. Remove any potential food or water sources to starve out the community, but you may need an exterminator.

Keep Mold From Forming

Mold needs moisture to grow, so a dehumidifier is mold’s natural enemy. The shower and/or tub are the biggest culprits, so clean these often. A daily spray and wipe down can help. Keeping the home a constant temperature is also important. Also, let wet clothes or towels dry before tossing them in a laundry bin.

Reducing Dust Allergens in the Air

Make certain the return vent for your central air is kept clean. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and vacuum regularly. Air purifiers can also work, but be sure to get one powerful enough for the size of the room it is in. Use a microfiber cloth with a liquid cleaner (a homemade vinegar spray is perfect) when dusting so that you pick up dust rather than throwing it into the air. Don’t forget to vacuum tough-to-reach places (like under the bed) when you do your big spring and fall cleanings.

Laundering Clothes

Don’t use more than the recommended amount of detergent. If anyone gets a rash, try an allergen-free detergent with no dyes or perfumes. Switching from powdered to liquid detergent will reduce residue left on clothes.  Not overloading the machine allows the detergent to reach all of the garments.

By employing these few tips, you should have to deal with fewer environmental allergies.

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Put an End to Stinky Towel Syndrome

Clean new towels are hanging in a bathroom. A stinky towel can be caused by leaving it in the washing machine.

Don’t let a stinky towel ruin the smell in your home. Clean it up with a few tips.

Everyone has been guilty of causing “stinky towel syndrome” at one time or another. You wash your hand towels, bath towels, washcloths, kitchen towels, etc., and then you forget them in the machine. In the morning, you’re left with a smelly mess that the dryer just can’t fix. What causes your stinky towel to smell? How can you get rid of it?

What Causes Stinky Towel Syndrome

Leaving your towels in the washing machine overnight isn’t the only way to end up with a mildew smell. For example, you may have moved the towels to the dryer, but then didn’t dry them long enough. Or the dryer may be getting old and doesn’t have the drying power it used to.

Of course, the dryer isn’t always to blame. If the problem is the washing machine, you will have to clean it. To get a musty smell out of a washing machine, use hot water and two cups of bleach, and run it with no clothes inside. Then wipe everything down and leave the washer open to finish air drying.

Getting the Musty Smell Out of Towels

If the problem is because the towels didn’t dry properly, the fix may be as simple as washing them again in hot water. Try adding white vinegar to the load of laundry for extra odor-eliminating power. A cup should do for a full load. Once you wash towels in vinegar, you will probably want to wash them again with a regular detergent to remove the vinegar smell. This time, dry the towels right away and check when the dryer cycle ends to make sure the smell was removed. Using a dryer sheet can also help eliminate any stubborn leftover odor.

The hamper can be another trouble spot for building smells. Don’t throw a towel in the hamper if it is still wet because it will start to smell in the hamper. Hang towels to dry first, unless you intend to wash them immediately. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with that stinky towel.

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